Ocala's Mayor facing accusations of being a KKK member

Published: Apr. 3, 2019 at 10:45 PM EDT
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Ocala's mayor Kent Guinn is again facing an accusation of racism and being part of the Ku Klux Klan. The accusation was made after he signed a proclamation making April 26th, 2019 as confederate memorial day in Ocala.

Wednesday morning Mayor Guinn told TV20 he wasn't expecting this controversial backlash but after multiple news organizations reached out to him for comment including TV20 he decided it was best to get everyone in one place to ask questions and also giving him the chance defend himself.

Tuesday night after Mayor Guinn signed the proclamation brought to him by representatives of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, City Council President Mary Sue Rich was unhappy and let it be known. She said she's starting to believe what others have said about Mayor Guinns' ties to being a KKK member.

Mayor Guinn in his press conference refuted those claims saying, " the conversation the other night about me being in the KKK it was a subject that came up in 2015. I stood right here and said the following and I'll say it right now. I am not, I repeat not in the KKK. I never have been, I never will be and I despise and I hate everything that organization stands for. I don't know how I can make that any more crystal clear than that."

Mayor Guinn went on to say the reason he signed the proclamation was because he believes it honors veterans who fought and died in the war.

"I just know what I did, I didn't do anything wrong I honored some veterans and that's it."

Mary Sue Rich says she believes signing the proclamation means on April 26th, 2019, Ocala will be deemed a confederate city, just to honor veterans who already have a day to be honored.

"We don't need a confederate memorial day, what's the purpose of that? To remind us of what went on?"

She also said Mayor Guinn doesn't deserve to be the mayor of Ocala and hopes someone runs against him for mayor.

"I don't really want him to step down but I was angry at that point, that's why I said that. But everything else I said I meant."

Mayor Guinn faced a similar accusation in 2015 from a group of hackers called "Anonymous." Many other city and state leaders across the country were also accused. There was never any evidence found to support that claim.

Mayor Guinn said he is not asking for an apology from Mary Sue Rich, that's up to her. He confirmed will be running for mayor again in the upcoming election this fall.